Memories of Batoul Soltani – Part Four
SFF: Mrs. Soltani, we would like your mind to get back to Ashraf where you had difficulty to escape from. We would like you describe the internal relations in MEK that caused you run away?
Batould Soltani: I was actually in the MEK for two decades so I know about the MEK’s internal relations very well. When in 1986 I entered the organization, the most convenient houses and hotel were dedicated to the families. It was the time when Masud and Maryam Rajavi came to Iraq from France. The MEK had used all its strength to recruit members and all IRI opponents from all over the world. There was a tension among supporters in abroad. Rajavi was using his entire wisdom to get the supporters out of their normal life and bring them to the organization and of-course the prison of Ashraf. They used any practice to bring the people to the cult in Iraq. For example they managed to send smugglers, financing them, to take the people out of their families and bring them to Iraq.
The other activity they were also busy of, was to found National Liberation Army and the deals with Iraqi Regime like the meetings with Iraqi ministries or deputies and then with Saddam Hussein who offered them bases, weapons, military trainings. The focus was on recruiting members for the so called NLA. At that time the Iraqi military organs were launching intelligence operations together with the MEK elements to succeed their attacks against Iran. The MEK was taking care of such affairs. Everyday there was a new crisis, a new adventure. So the supporters were busy enough.
After some time they spoke of NLA and military uniform and boots and things like that. Later in 1989 the second phase of Ideological Revolution (after the first phase which was operated in 1985 when the couples were forced to divorce.) was started by MEK that claimed that the first phase was not completed and the divorces should be perfect for ever; this time the divorces should be real and there is no return and anyone who wants to enter the organization must divorce. Since that time divorce became a condition for membership in the MKO.
They named this revolution as “whirl-wind” in which they filtered the devotees from the opponents. Several meetings were arranged by Masud and Maryam Rajavi who brought members group by group there; where they set the situation so artificially that the members became obliged to take out their wedding rings and divorce their spouses. I was in the last group of MKO members who divorced.
They held the meeting for a group of members. From the beginning moments the members were so worried of being called, then they called a person who went to deliver all his responsibilities… then we saw Maryam and Masud cheering made an atmosphere and asked the person:” Ok, now what must you give?” Or “what have you hidden?” they pressured the member mentally and at the end he was prepared for divorce. The person had to write and sign the feature of his dependence on his spouse, his problems and thoughts. Then he had continual meetings so as he can ideologically divorce the marriage in his mind. Thus the leaders could have a better control on the members’ emotions and feelings. The next step was to cut the remaining emotional point: children.
I remember they used the opportunity of war in 1991 and said: “Due to the war, we can not keep the kids here”, so they arranged another chantage and separated the children from their families. That was a treacherous plan that was executed. They even said themselves:” That’s a good pretext to get rid of children.”
The evil Masud had calculated everything; he knew that the presence of children would take a lot of energy. Now they had members who were completely and professionally at Masud‘s service. They sent the children to places, they know themselves, and for example they sent my son to a country and my daughter to another one and I had no idea of where they were.
I couldn’t ask, in any case, where my kids are. They would punish me using their manipulation techniques …
Then, they determined a criterion which was ‘’Maryam ‘’who divorced from her husband for Masud’s sake, married him ideologically and her whole existence has become Masud! In a new scenario, she came said:” I leave all my organizational duties” and Masud said the same thing and introduced Maryam as the first authority of the organization because she was the only one who was joined to Masud and all the others had to be dissolved in and dedicated to Maryam, if not they were called anti-woman, non-revolutionary … this was their new story to seize the members soles and minds.
The bottom line of the story is that Masud is only the ideological leader. If you want to analyze the MEK, you should work one two dimensions; one: the strategic and military dimension and two: the ideological and organizational dimension. The strategic aspect included the departure from France and arrival to Iraq to from NLA. The ideological aspect began with the ideological revolution in 1984. Following the defeat in the “Eternal Light” operation, they concluded that the failure happened because the ideological revolution hasn’t performed perfectly so the fighters haven’t fought well. The discussions on the ideological revolution ended with the divorces saying that the emotions are illegal.
After Maryam Rajavi became the first authority of MEK, Masud left all his organizational responsibilities. They wanted to open their way to European countries, so they established “Presidential Offices” in European countries. A new series of stories began with the name of “President Elect” ( Maryam Rajavi),calling for opposition groups to come under MEK’s hegemony and form National Council of Resistance to abuse them.
Then they continued with equipping their NLA by Saddam Hussein’s aid. Rajavi always was proud of the gifts granted to him by Saddam Hussein. For any operation they launched inside Iran, Saddam praised them with his offered weapons and tanks.
Translation: Nejat Society